Monday, 4 August 2008

WYD - the aftermath reflections

A few new photos and comments have appeared on blogs so I thought I'd do a little round up for those interested who haven't found them yet! Also I guess its time to ponder what the lasting effect of it all might be (beyond the benefits of the rain that has nicely broken the physical drought in many areas here...).

Spreading chant

A major feature of Juventutem were the chant workshops given by Scott Turkington. The challenge now is to bring that knowledge back to parishes, and see the chant revival really take off!

Rorate Caeli has posted some photos from the Pontifical Vespers at Juventutem with Cardinal Pell. I missed the beginning of EWTN's Life on the Rock segment, but as far as I could tell not much of the Vespers made it into the broadcast - the Sisters of Mary proved so much more photogenic (and it is true that their story is a pretty compelling one)!

The Vespers were pretty compelling evidence though, that at least psalmody is 'doable'. On the basis of half an hour or so of rehearsal a fair proportion of the congregation joined the singing, and at least from where I sat, it sounded pretty good!

It has been interesting though to see a few reminders around blogdom over the last few days that polyphony too is part of our patrimony, and in the absence of a few castrati, women are today an integral part of liturgical music. Have a read, for example, of this piece via the Recovering Choir Director (I have to give Aristotle a plug since he was kind enough to include meeting me in his list of highlights of WYD, which are worth a read - I particularly liked his line about beef tasting like beef!) on the reform of the St Peter's 'screechers' at the Vatican, which has included adding some women to the choir. NLM also offers some commentary on same article.


Another highlight of World Youth Day was seeing beautiful locally made vestments (Mr Sternbeck of St Bede Studio is pictured below hopefully with a client who we can only hope will order more...) feature prominently. Is this the end of the polyester horrors? One can only hope...


It was interesting too to see the idea of chastity getting a serious hearing on tv - take a look at Dawn Eden on the morning show for example, but there was much more.

Priestly morale

One of the intriguing impacts of WYD seems likely to be the effects of pilgrims visits to parishes. I've heard stories of local priests digging out the dogcollar for the first time in years when confronted with visitors in full clericals.

And then there is this comment from the Southwark Vocations blog:

"...what the Holy Father desires is that we have priests who have a correct and complete understanding of the theology of the Mass as well as the necessary formation to celebrate it - in whatever form - with dignity and reverence. Given the response of the people when I celebrated a Sunday Mass in the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle here in Australia recently, I would say that a Mass celebrated with devotion can have a great impact on ordinary parish congregations where a hermeneutic of discontinuity has previously had a confusing and disheartening effect."

These are stories I suspect that can be repeated from all around the country. Let's hope that they are not just a mirage or temporary burst of rain, to be swallowed up again by the desert...


David said...

I missed Cardinal Pell's vespers. I have a dreadful voice anyway...

Just wondering...Did he wear his enormous Cappa Magna...with the six-yard train? Doesn't look like it.

David said...

On the cappa magna, Gerald Warner's Torygraph post is worth a read:

The stress of modern life is generating new kinds of mental illness, sometimes taking the form of irrational fear of certain objects. The latest example is an obscure disorder called cappaphobia. It is caused by cappa magna choralis and chiefly targets the elderly, many of whom may already be suffering from dementia.

I first came across this clinical condition when shown a samizdat publication issued by a beleaguered group of progressive Catholics from an address in King Street Cloisters, which atmospherically evokes a huddled catacomb. A letter to the editor began: "Seeing Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos vested in a cappa magna in Westminster Cathedral was a chilling experience."

An accompanying photograph, without even the health warning "May contain some flash vestments", illustrated the offending garment, a long train of scarlet moire silk being worn by Cardinal Castrillon at the celebration of the Tridentine Mass in Westminster Cathedral on June 14. The acute allergic reaction this vesture produces among cappaphobics should not be underestimated.

The cappa magna, a ceremonial cloak for cardinals and bishops, was first regularised in 1464. In 1952 Pius XII, in a misguided fit of radicalism, shortened the cardinalitial cappa from six yards to three. That moment marked the beginning of the Church's downward trajectory. In 1969 Paul VI, in an orgy of vandalism reminiscent of the burning of patents of nobility in the French National Assembly in 1789, abolished the winter ermine hood on the cappa, along with the cardinals' galero hat, the red tabarro cape, buckled shoes and just about everything that compensated for the sacrifices Catholicism imposes on the faithful.

Now Benedict XVI, by resuming the ornamental half-sleeves on his soutane outlawed by Paul VI, has effectively signalled the repeal of the drabby sumptuary laws of 1969. This places cappaphobes at high risk of exposure. Perhaps, on the lines of the pollen count warnings, there should be a cappa count.

Jerusalem should be avoided, since the Latin Patriarch uniquely retains the ermined cappa. World Youth Day is likewise off limits since it is hosted by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Pell, who flaunted a six-yard cappa at the last gathering. Rome might seem safe, since Paul VI forbade the cappa within the Eternal City. Rumour has it, however, that Pope Benedict has commissioned a 30-piece set of baroque vestments modelled on those of Leo X, which could be equally traumatic.

A letter from another cappaphobe the following week, in the same publication, observed: "It would be interesting to know if the silk cappa magna worn by the cardinal could be sold for the poor in accordance with Jesus' instruction." There is a slight error in exegesis here. Jesus said, "The poor you have always with you"; the apostle who raised the bolshie question about selling the expensive balm with which Our Lord was being anointed was Judas Iscariot.

Progressives quoting Judas! Hilarious! Actually, according to these folk, Judas had a gospel, didn't he?

Terra said...

No cappa was in evidence - I heard an explanation that the sanctuary was too small, but personally I suspect it might have had something to do with the boss being in town...

David said...

I don't think His Holiness would have any objection to an enormous cappa magna per se, perhaps the Cardinal was afraid of being "more Catholic than the Pope", or forcing the boss to bring out the sedia gestatoria, flabella, and tiara... Actually, I don't think they've been used in my lifetime...and I hope I live to see them used again...

Peter said...

Yes, it seems much good fruit. There was a good turn out of 'EF clergy' but what a pity that Juventutem and WYD were not embraced by more of the pastors of EF communities.
On a tangentially related point, I note that despite the surfeit of ORDAINED ministers the subdeacon at more than one of the Juventutem liturgies was a layman. Does anyone else find this odd?


Cardinal Pole said...

Bring back the galero! (Something to look forward to at the next Consistory?)

Miss A Solemnis said...

Peter, vis-a-vis your comment about the subdeacon:

not just odd, but thoroughly objectionable.

Anonymous said...

Forget about cappa magnas.

Bring back the cappa clausa.

+ Thomas Wolsey
Arcieps. Eborac.

Cardinalis Presbyter S. Cecilae trans Tiberim.

Legatus a latere.

Anonymous said...

I understand Juventutem Australia is in a period of demise. That is a shame.The Juventutem group at the recent WYD seemed small. I am surprised more natives didn't support Juventutem.Any reason for this?